Donald Trump’s sons are helping him choose members of his cabinet, according to various reports. Donald Trump Jr. interviewed potential secretary of the interior picks while Eric Trump met with Mitt Romney, who was under consideration for secretary of state.
Involving his children in cabinet selection is a worrying development from the president-elect. Trump has said he will separate his political and business interests by putting his children in charge of his business but he now appears to be relying on his sons in shaping his government.
This is a potentially serious conflict of interest. If Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. are supposed to run Trump businesses without affecting their father’s administration, they should not be involved in selecting the cabinet. More broadly, a president should not give his children the power to vet cabinet members.
Worries about nepotism and corruption surround the Trump family as Donald Trump prepares to take over the Oval Office. Critics see no evidence that Trump will separate his financial interests from the presidency and point to his heavy reliance on his children. Trump’s children are major players in his businesses and Trump is used to having their advice on everything.
By allowing his sons to vet potential cabinet members, Trump has moved even further from acceptable presidential behavior. His children cannot hold positions in his government but could be a powerful influence through informal advice. Trump’s detractors may view his children’s involvement as worrying sign of his attitude toward democracy. Involving your children in government is reminiscent of a third world dictatorship.